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16 items
  1. Legalise cannabis in Luxembourg?

    10 May 2015
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    Luxembourg's Parliament is to debate the decriminalisation of consumption of cannabis, the health minister said while outlining a new drug prevention programme. The minister said she hoped to raise awareness among young people of the risks surrounding cannabis consumption as well as the use of other, legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco. 

  2. 'You will not be arrested for using drugs'

    02 December 2014
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    Authorities in the Netherlands are warning Amsterdam tourists about heroin masquerading as cocaine, which has already killed several people and sent a number of others to the hospital.

  3. Former world leaders call for nations to decriminalize drug use and experiment with legalization

    09 September 2014
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    Drug use should be decriminalized and governments should experiment with drug legalization and regulation, a group of former world leaders argues in a new report. The recommendations from the Global Commission on Drug Policy reflect the views of the former leaders of some of the countries hardest hit by the illegal drug trade. They strongly argue that a costly global war on drugs has not only failed but threatens public health, fosters discrimination and fuels the very crime and violence it seeks to prevent. (See also: Coalition urges nations to decriminalize drugs and drug use)

  4. Decriminalize drug use and public health

    27 May 2014
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    Canada's war on drugs has caused serious harm, particularly for the nation's most vulnerable, according to a Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) policy paper. The report, A New Approach to Managing Psychoactive Substances, calls for the decriminalization of drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine, as well as strategies to reduce harm and address the social conditions underlying problem substance use.

  5. Report calls for decriminalizing both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs

    23 May 2013
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    The personal use of illegal drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, should be decriminalized as part of a federal-provincial strategy to tackle drug abuse, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition argues. Their report, Getting To Tomorrow, denounces the Harper government’s aggressive war on drugs, which puts the emphasis on law enforcement while steering money away from harm-reduction initiatives like Vancouver’s supervised injection site. (See also: Call to legalize 'hard' drugs meets opposition)

  6. Portuguese drug policy shows that decriminalisation can work

    09 December 2012
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    The Home Affairs Select Committee in the United Kingdom report on drug policy draws on lessons from Portugal’s decriminalisation of drug possession and puts forward a case for the UK reconsidering its own policies. Alex Stevens assesses the situation in Portugal, noting that while decriminalisation has coincided with a fall in the most problematic forms of drug use, it is not the only factor. (See also: Portugal: Ten Years After Decriminalization)

  7. Drug use is an issue for society, not the criminal justice system

    Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet
    10 September 2012
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    There is no reliable evidence that tougher criminal sanctions deter drug use or offending. On the contrary, criminalisation worsens the health and wellbeing of drug users, increases risk behaviours, drives the spread of HIV, encourages other crime and discourages drug users from seeking treatment. A report by Australia21, Alternatives to Prohibition, subtitled Illicit drugs: how we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians, sets out the lessons learnt about the failed war on drugs from other countries, especially Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Portugal.

  8. Once a model, crisis imperils Portugal's drug programme

    13 August 2012
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    Portugal's famously liberal drug policy has been held up as a model for other countries - Norway is considering adopting parts of it and countries as far afield as Argentina have expressed interest. But experts warn that budget cuts and the threat of more cuts to come - combined with an increase in hard drug abuse - risk turning it into a shadow of its former self. "We have a certain responsibility to maintain the essential despite the recession," said Joao Goulao, the national drugs agency chief. "Other countries do look at us and seek our expertise."

  9. “In Portugal, We Fight the Illness, Not the People Who Suffer from It”

    30 July 2012
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    Portugal’s anti-drug policies have been gaining international visibility since this country's 2001 decision to eliminate all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs. Decriminalisation of drug consumption, still opposed by political sectors like the right, was made possible by “favourable public opinion…it arose from society,” where virtually every family had a member or friend with a drug abuse problem, says João Goulão president of this country’s Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction.

  10. Saying No to Costly Drug Laws

    Aleksander Kwasniewski
    11 May 2012
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    In the year 2000, as the president of Poland, I signed one of Europe’s most conservative laws on drug possession. Any amount of illicit substances a person possessed meant they were eligible for up to three years in prison. Our hope was that this would help to liberate Poland, and especially its youths, from drugs that not only have a potential to ruin the lives of the people who abuse them but also have been propelling the spread of HIV among people who inject them. We were mistaken on both of our assumptions.

  11. Towards a smarter drugs policy

    Keith Humphreys, Jonathan Caulkins
    06 January 2012
    Other news

    The loudest voices in US drug policy debates call either for enforcing prohibition with ever-increasing ferocity or for giving up altogether by letting corporations legally sell the currently illicit drugs much as they do tobacco and alcohol. But as our colleagues and we detail this week in the Lancet, there is an alternative: adopting drug policies with scientific evidence of effectiveness. Regardless of what goals for drug policy emerge from the democratic process, everyone wants the policies implemented in the service of those goals to be effective.

  12. INCB Report: mixed thoughts

    Martin Jelsma
    02 March 2011
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    Today the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) released its annual report. I’ve been following the Board for many, many years now, have often criticized its narrow interpretation of the treaties, have questioned the validity of its usually negative comments about any policy changes in the direction of harm reduction or decriminalization, and have warned repeatedly about its tendency to overstep its clearly defined mandate.

  13. The Prospects for Drug Reform: California

    09 February 2011
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    The West Coast is a different world when it comes to progress on drug policy reform. Three of the four states most likely to see strong pushes for marijuana legalization in the next couple of years are on the West Coast (the other being Colorado). And medical marijuana is a fact of life from San Diego to Seattle. But it's not just pot politics that makes the West Coast different. The region has also been a pioneer in sentencing reform and harm reduction practices, even if countervailing forces remain strong and both policy areas remain contested terrain.

  14. parlamento-portugal

    Portuguese priorities

    Nick Warburton
    11 October 2010
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    In July 2001, the Portuguese government introduced Law 30, setting in train a radical new approach to illicit drug use. In practice, it decriminalised the possession of certain quantities of drugs for personal use, instead referring users to one of the country’s 20 ‘dissuasion commissions’. Allied with decree 183 – which significantly expanded the network of harm reduction programmes – this meant that heroin users could seek help rather than face the wrath of the police.

  15. parlamento-portugal

    At 10, Portugal's Drug Law Draws New Scrutiny

    20 July 2010
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    Portugal's move to decriminalize illicit substances—Europe's most liberal drug legislation—turns 10 years old this month amid new scrutiny and plaudits. Portugal's decriminalization regime has caught the eye of regulators in Europe and beyond since it was implemented in 2001. Proponents credit the program for stanching one of Europe's worst drug epidemics. Approaching a decade in force, it is providing a real-world model of one way to address an issue that is a social and economic drag on countries world-wide.

  16. Voters agree heroin scheme, but throw out dope

    30 November 2008
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    The Swiss look set to approve the government's drugs policy, including the prescription of heroin to addicts, but will reject a plan to decriminalise cannabis. More than two-thirds of voters approved a plan to enshrine the government's four-pillar drugs policy in law. The official drugs strategy is based on prevention, harm reduction, therapy and repression. It was devised in response to the open drugs scene in Zurich and other Swiss cities during the 1990s.